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 411mania » Movies » Columns

411mania Interview: Carly Chaikin of ABC's Suburgatory
Posted by Al Norton on 04.30.2014

Carly Chaikin has a resume that includes work on the big screen in The Last Song, Escapee, and In a World…, but she is best known for her role as Dalia on ABC's Suburgatory.

Al Norton: How long did it take you to get Dalia's voice and cadence down?

Carly Chaikin: It's funny, it really started to develop and hit over season two. Once we got into season two it became second nature to me and in season one it was all about finding the niches.

Al Norton: When you're done filming for the day do you have to make a mental note, "ok, I'm not using that voice anymore"?

Carly Chaikin: (Laughing) Kind of. What's funny is that in my normal life, hanging out with friends or whatever, I'll sometimes randomly say something in Dalia's voice, because I feel like if I use her voice it's appropriate for me to say whatever I want. She's always around with me in some way or another.

Al Norton: How do you keep a straight face with some of that dialogue?

Carly Chaikin: Oh my God, I don't (laughing). Sometimes it is very, very hard, especially when I am working with Cheryl (Hines), because her reactions are so incredible and so funny to me that when I am talking to her and seeing what she's doing, I can't keep a straight face. There have been times where we can't look at each other, so I'll look just past her so we don't make eye contact. The biggest thing I've learned to do in those moment where we just can't stop laughing is to convince myself that what I'm saying isn't funny, that there's nothing funny about the lines. To Dalia it's not funny so I have to be able to find that place sometimes.

Al Norton: Considering the wardrobe they have you in on the show, do you jump into jeans and sweats the minute shooting is over?

Carly Chaikin: Oh yeah, I always get so jealous of Jane (Levy) on set ; she gets to wear on the show what I wear outside of the show. I always am wearing sweats under my clothes up until we start a take. I'm always wearing slippers, too.

Al Norton: I don't mean to say that fans somehow confuse you and the character but because Dalia is so well defined, when people come up to you on the street, are they unsure of how you're going to be?

Carly Chaikin: Yes, very much so. It's funny, even one of our directors was telling me that when he first came on the show that he was scared to work with me because he thought I was going to be just like Dalia. Obviously I'm not (laughing). People will come up to me and say, "oh my God, you don't talk the same." Sometimes I've been talking to someone for a while or maybe taking a class with them and they watch the show but they have no idea that I play Dalia.

Al Norton: I suppose it's a good problem to have when you have a character so successful that people associate her with you but do you ever worry that when you're dealing with casting directors in the future you may have to overcome that a little bit?

Carly Chaikin: What's great is that I started out in drama so a lot of the directors have seen me either do other roles or audition for other more dramatic parts. Also, when we're not filming I go back to being a brunette, and that seems to make a huge difference to people seeing me as separate from Dalia. Thankfully I don't think I've run into that so far, knock on wood.

Al Norton: If you could control the universe for a day and could cast yourself in a guest spot on any other show on TV, which would you choose?

Carly Chaikin: Such a good question. I would really love to do a voice on Family Guy or Bob's Burgers of American Dad!. Unfortunately it's not on any more but I would have loved to have been on Breaking Bad.

Al Norton: Tell me a little bit about the new episode of Suburgatory.

Carly Chaikin: This week is called Dalia Nicole Smith and it's basically Dalia and Tessa applying to college and while Dalia thinks her interview went smashingly well, the college thinks otherwise. Dallas realizes Dalia might not be getting into college so they explore other things she might do. Along the way Dalia meets an older suitor, hence the title.

Don't miss Suburgatory, tonight at 8:30pm on ABC


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